ScriptMother

J. D. Vines

Ventura, CA

 

Favorite Genres: Drama, Comedy, Romance, High Concept, Spirituality, Character Driven

Short bio

From: Kristina Michelle <kristina@xxxxxxxxxx.com> Sent: Saturday, September 15, 2018 7:22:55 AM To: wordcrafter@outlook.com Subject: Re: The Indie Gathering: Results “Hello. We are pleased to inform you that judging results have been finalized for The 2018 Indie Gathering, and ‘Dreams of Dogwood’ has won 1st place in the drama feature script category. Congratulations!” Yeah, this email felt pretty good. It's reassuring to know that somebody else likes your work. Had a good few days. Then I went back to work polishing my new comedy, ‘The Law of Dogma’. All of my work lately seems to be dog this or dog that. Not sure why that is. I cut my chops with a Midwest production company, ‘The John B. Rogers Producing Company’, staging historical re-enactments in high school and college stadiums in the Midwest and South. Kind of an auteur thing. Designed sets, wrote scripts, cast and directed about 250 actors, directed tech, taught farmers and their wives and daughters how to do the cha cha and the can can. (Didn’t sew any costumes.) Tons of fun and even got paid for it. I eventually migrated to LA figuring I’d parlay this experience into some movie business job (along with two or three million other saps). I got as far as volunteering for some AFI production work, pursuant to a friend who was enrolled in the AFI program. I also did a UCLA extension directing stint and pounded out a script, based on the true story of an iconoclastic solar energy entrepreneur. Sydney Pollack passed. Then I began living somebody else’s life, actually a bunch of other people. A few years ago I decided to live my own life and began writing again. But first I studied the craft, ala about a dozen screenwriting books, which most of you have also read or know about. I have a small body of work, about a half dozen scripts, but only two are production-ready: ‘Dreams of Dogwood’, my Indie winner is a Civil War era period piece which will require some deep pockets, and my comedy, ‘The Law of Dogma’, with a CGI Boston terrier with transcendental powers. Yes I agree, ‘the supernatural power bit has been overdone’. That’s actually a line in the script. So, writing has given me an outlet for my overactive imagination. I hope to have the opportunity to share my stories and my characters with the rest of the world, stories that inspire people to think, feel, and love.

A free-spirited young Buddhist Arhat misbehaves so badly that he qualifies for a little-known amendment to the Law of Karma, the ‘Law of Dogma’, and has to do life as a dog.

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Sukankar, aka ‘Suk’, is a free-spirited, fun-loving, practical-joking disciple of the Buddha who gets himself into some serious hot water with his pranks and childish games. But a two day disciplinary assignment at the Dharma Wheel turns into a year and he becomes the first disciple to have ever attained Samadhi through devotion to the wheel. In a special ceremony, he is honored for his achievement and is recognized by the Buddha as an Arhat. With his new prestige and notoriety, his ego gets the better of him and he quickly reverts back to his old ways and misbehaves to such a degree that he qualifies himself for a little-known amendment to the “Law of Karma” – “The Law of Dogma”. He must now do an incarnation as a dog. But this is no ordinary canine. He speaks (in English) as he cleverly narrates directly to the audience, and is endowed with ‘prayer fulfillment’, a transcendental power, normally reserved for Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, which allows him to manifest just about anything he wants. As a dog, he initially reverts back to his old ways, using his wits and his special ability for his own amusement, and bounces from one family to another, with visits to animal shelters in between. His adventures land him in a string of comical situations where he encounters a bevy of wacky, amusing characters straight out of central casting. Eventually, he is adopted by a humble family from Central L.A. and is exposed to some of the harsh realities of urban family life. He develops a strong sense of compassion and the realization that his true mission as a dog is to help people solve their problems and alleviate their suffering and he becomes a little, fifteen pound super-hero. We wrap up the story, in the near future, with Sukankar, now human again, being recognized by the modern Buddha as a Bodhisattva who has achieved his spiritual attainment through a life-long commitment to compassionate service to humanity.

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Gone With The Wind gets infected with Jungle Fever when a smart, spirited slave realizes her dreams by winning the heart of her beloved plantation owner on her way to earning a university professorship.

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“Gone With the Wind” gets infected with “Jungle Fever” when Dogwood, a smart, spirited slave falls hard for the young, handsome plantation owner. Competition with the white bachelorettes is daunting but she is determined to win his heart, and she’s not the kind of girl to let a little thing like slavery get in her way. We fade in to find Dogwood and her mother being transported to a slave auction where they are permanently separated and she is sent to ‘Kingsgate’, her new plantation home. When the owner suddenly dies, Richard, his estranged son, quits his history professorship and relocates to Kingsgate where he hopes to court, marry, and raise a family with a local woman. In contrast to his father’s harsh approach to managing his slaves, Richard institutes progressive changes, including housing upgrades and days off. News of the young and more compassionate “massa” spreads throughout the slave community. When Dogwood discovers that Richard swims daily in the nearby lake, she enchants him by allowing him to discover her there, bathing. From first encounter, their animal attraction is palpable but Richard cannot sully his good name by having a slave in his bed. When he discovers that she is educated he moves her into the house and puts her into training to become handmaid to the future missus, which includes classical piano lessons and continuing her education with him as tutor. Dogwood takes up the study of slavery and during their lively intellectual exchanges, is not shy about challenging Richard on contentious and moral issues. It soon becomes clear that in Dogwood, Richard has met his intellectual match. They develop a close, often intimate relationship, but Richard’s insistence on keeping it non-sexual builds tension. One day, Dogwood is accosted by Henry, the predatory boss man, and Barnabus, his black slave driver, who attempt to drag her off and rape her. Richard spots the confrontation and rushes to her aid. The intervention turns violent and the two men exchange blows. When Richard is knocked unconscious, Henry grabs the hatchet to finish him off. But Dogwood grabs the axe and buries it deeply into Henry’s back, saving her beloved. She is venerated by the slaves for saving them from the abusive Henry, but the following day the sheriff has her in chains for killing a white man. She manages to avoid retribution for her heroism, at least for the time being. Gradually, their bond evolves beyond slavery and skin pigmentation and by war’s onset, she has outwitted and outlasted her competition and proven herself to be his rightful partner. It doesn’t hurt that she’s the smartest girl in the room and commands an affluence of feminine allure, and the savvy to know how and when to call on it. In his words, “you’re my best friend”. In hers, “love knows no particular color”. Richard and his neighbors campaign to have Alabama remain in the Union but civil war erupts and ultimately finds its way to Kingsgate, resulting in the destruction of their home. War’s aftermath brings tragedy to the lives of everyone at Kingsgate, blacks and whites alike. When two former Kingsgate slaves are killed in a massacre, everyone becomes grief-stricken and depressed. When Richard learns that some men are plotting to take Dogwood, to avenge Henry’s death, he sends his bewildered and heartbroken lover packing on a northbound train. With aplomb, grit, and determination, she lands on her feet, earning a PhD and a professorship. Ten years later, Richard shows up for an unannounced visit. And he brought a surprise with him: Dogwood’s long-lost mother. The plan is to convince her to move back home. Dogwood, now an established and published academic, hesitates. But Mama knows best. “You come on back home child. There’s a heap of folks need learning down South.” As credits roll we find the two, back at Kingsgate, bathing together in the big claw foot tub, planning their new adventure; the establishment of Northern Alabama’s first private institution of higher learning for blacks.

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